The Mountain Pointe boys golf team has put coach Tony Ramseyer in an enviable but difficult position.
The Pride has played some great golf down the stretch heading into the Division I state tournament, a two-day event that gets started Friday, with hopes of winning its first state team title.
"They are playing well enough to make my job very difficult," Ramseyer said. It's just a matter of picking the right guys for the right tournament."
The Pride erased a three-shot deficit to Desert Vista over the weekend to win the Tempe City tournament by two strokes at Ken McDonald Golf Course. The Pride, who were undefeated in dual meets this season, have won consecutive tournaments heading into state as they won the team title at the Mountain Ridge Invitational in Flagstaff at the Continental Golf Course during fall break.
"All of the top teams in the state were there and we came out on top," Ramseyer said of the Mountain Ridge event. "Hamilton, Brophy, Red Mountain and Desert Vista. State is a different animal but I think we are ready."
All four teams head to Tucson for the state tournament.
The girls play at Dell Urich Golf Course and the boys play at Randolph Golf Course. The girls are scheduled for an 11:30 a.m. tee time while the boys should be heading to the first tee at 11 a.m.
Leading the way for the Mountain Pointe boys team is Mike Anderson, who was the medalist at the Tempe City and Flagstaff tournaments; and Ben Potter, who was the runner-up in the Mountain Ridge Invite.
Chris Felix is at the next level, but Ramseyer thinks he will be at his best for state.
"He isn't playing as well as he wants to," Ramseyer said. "He is hitting the ball well and making good decisions, but he isn't scoring as well as he wants to."
At the next level, and where the decision comes into play, is finding the next two best players to give the Pride its first state title. Mountain Pointe finished as runners-up in 1995 and third three times, with the last time coming in 2001.
Austin Fletcher, Brendan Wiberg, Justin Hyden and Jake Britton all have a chance to bring home the Pride's first title.
Desert Vista is one of the teams that might stand in the way of Mountain Pointe's bid for state supremacy.
The Thunder finished higher at a national tournament and both finished in the top 10 at the 52-team field in Texas last month and could make a push if all goes well.
Desert Vista has been bolstered by the return of Sean Buchanan, who missed a good portion of the season because of a strained tendon in his hip and lower back.
"It was purely from playing golf," Desert Vista coach Paige Peterson said. "He had to shut it down completely. His first tournament came in Texas and he had his worst score (78) of the season so he is playing very well."
The rest of the team has been playing well and needs to keep it that way.
Cody McManus, Colton Estevez, Matt Liringis and Andy Ross provide the depth needed to make a two-day run at Hamilton, which has won five straight big-school state titles.
On the girls side, the Thunder enter the event at Del Urich light on play. The Thunder, led by Cady Espinoza and Annie Willert, were rained out two weeks ago and didn't have a match or tournament the last two weeks.
In previous weeks the weather played havoc with the team's schedule.
"We'll come back and get practice time when we can," Desert Vista coach Pierson Hamilton said. "They will get a practice round in at Dell Urich. That's all we can do. It's not ideal, but we will do our best.
The Pride is led by junior Darian Spivey, who finished 14th a year ago at state, and junior Sami Spring, who was 31st. Seniors Jordyn Trappe, who was 46th at state, and Cecila Feely should be among the top players for the Pride as well.